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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: More "It's Trafficking, Stupid!"
Date: 11 Mar 1997

In <1997Mar10.214648@mcrcr6> (ROBERT S.
HOLZMAN) writes:

>In article <>, Bernie <> writes:
>> Right there is a problem. HIV can ONLY replicate in dividing
>> lymphocytes, which means it NEEDS the cell to survive! It can't kill
>> cells! Therefore, any T-cell deaths in a test tube are bogus, because
>> these occur without the presense of HIV-antibodies, which neutralize
>> the virus so it cannot kill.
>> A.B.T.
>Bernie, antibodies only block infection of new cells by virus. they don't
>prevent viruses from killing the cells they have already infected. And
>many viruses can spread directly from cell to cell withough being
>affected by antibody.
>Many viral infections, including HIV, are not terminated by antibody.
>Your statement that HIV antibodies prevent HIV from killing is false on
>lots of grounds (including the fact that HIV infected cells can induce
>non-infected ones to commit suicide (apoptosis).
>Your statement that hiv "cant" kill the cell because it needs the cell to
>survive is only sensible if HIV thinks about it. Viruses don't think.

   For laymen reading this group, it might be useful to add that
there's an easy index of how big a role new antibodies (those made late
in a viral disease) play in clearing up a viral infection (vs
preventing one). There are children born without the ability to make
antibodies at all.  Before about WWII, when it was realized that these
children could be helped with gamma globulin, it was known only that
they were unusually succeptible to certain bacterial infections.  But
with few exceptions (viral hepatitis, interestingly) they handled viral
infections normally.  Thus, antibodies play little role in handling
such things.  The presence of antibody no more indicates that the body
has successfully fought off a virus, than the distant baying of hounds
indicates that a fox has been successfully treed.

                                               Steve Harris, M.D.

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